Widespread Opposition to new nuclear weapons research facilities at AWE Aldermaston
COUNCILS THROUGHOUT THE UK OPPOSE THE ALDERMASTON ORION LASER: COUNCILS FOR THE MAJOR CITIES OF GLASGOW, EDINBURGH, MANCHESTER, LEEDS AND LONDON (GLA) AS WELL AS THE LOCAL COUNCILS OF SLOUGH, READING AND OXFORD ASSOCIATED WITH THE GROWING OPPOSITION.
THE NUCLEAR FREE LOCAL AUTHORITIES (NFLAs) ARE THE NETWORK OF UK LOCAL AUTHORITIES THAT OPPOSE TRIDENT REPLACEMENT AND NEW FACILITIES AT ALDERMASTON THAT WOULD SUPPORT THIS. NFLAs HAVE OBJECTED TO THE PLANNING NOTICE TO BE CONSIDERED TONIGHT 6PM BY WEST BERKSHIRE COUNCIL. NFLAs HAS MEMBER AUTHORITIES IN ALL FOUR PARTS OF THE UK AND INCLUDE THOSE AUTHORITIES ABOVE AS WELL AS ASSOCIATES IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND. NFLAs HAVE OBJECTED ON ENVIRONMENTAL, PLANNING, HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL LAW GROUNDS AS SUMMARISED BELOW:
1.The Notice of Proposed Development (NoPD) procedure is inappropriate, unlawful, and inconsistent with Ministerial commitments made to the council: – a proper planning application should be made by the contractor AWE Plc;
– the NoPD procedure is legally incompatible with the requirements of the Human Rights Act;
– the NoPD process does not provide for a valid development consent as required in law by Article 2.1 of the Environmental Assessment Directive; – the NoPD process is at odds with the Secretary of State’s promise of 19th July 2005 that West Berkshire as a planning authority will be consulted specifically under the the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 on the Orion Project (as part of the programme of investment in facilities at Aldermaston). This promise is only intelligible in the context of the submission of a proper planning application pursuant to that Act.
2. Environmental assessments of (i) the Aldermaston Site Development Plan and (ii) the specific project, the subject of the NoPD, are required by law.
The EU Directives which make this necessary have not been complied with. In particular no information on alternatives has been supplied vis-à-vis the plan or the project although this is obligatory in both instances.
3. The development is in breach of (i) the government’s planning policy by failing to examine negative impacts and alternative options; and of
(ii) the council’s planning policies relating to the maintainence or enhancement of the environment, archaeology, disabled access and facilities, continuation of (lawful) operational activity at Aldermaston.
This last point is of considerable importance: the proposed laser plant is to be used in connection with the production of the trident nuclear warhead and any replacement. Such weapons are illegal under customary international law as they cannot discriminate in their impact between military and civilian targets and personnel as is required for any lawful weapon. International customary law is binding on West Berkshire Council and it must object to this unlawful plan.
4. The Health and Safety Executive will not have powers to control safety matters relating to the design of the laser plant contrary to the impression otherwise given. West Berkshire cannot ignore this omission from safety control.
5. The matter should be referred to full council.
For further information please contact
NUCLEAR FREEE LOCAL AUTHORITIES STEERING COMMITTEE
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